Masonwabe Fuma finds purpose in life by spreading his entrepreneurial spirit. “I wish to empower our people by assisting them to find ways and means to empower themselves,” he says. He believes that a valuable tool with which to introduce the previously excluded into the economy is through cooperatives: community-run businesses or enterprises. Fuma is an associate director and spokesperson for the Africa Cooperatives Institute of SA. The institute focuses on empowerment, and on providing training to develop community-based enterprises and non-profit companies that are sustainable and resilient. “When you train cooperatives, you create mobility — the sharing and organising of ideas,” says Fuma. “This then assists in positioning the African continent as a strong community enterprise sector.” Fuma is helping to establish AfriCo Online, an online store for South African cooperatives. When it launches later this year, it will have more than 150 local cooperatives on its database.
If doors are closed on your face, get in through the window — kick, scream, shout and negotiate if you have to.